Bahrain signs an agreement to setup UN Habitat office

On the sidelines of the 6th World Urban Forum, the Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry signed here today a Cooperation Agreement in the field of Sustainable Urban Environment (SUE) with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

The agreement, according to which the kingdom will host UN-Habitat’s regional office, was signed by the Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister Dr. Joma’a bin Ahmed Al Ka’abi on behalf of Bahrain and UN-Habitat’s Executive Director Dr. Joan Clos.

Chairperson of Kuwait’s Volunteer Centre Shaikha Amthal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and a number of UN-Habitat’s officials were present at the signing ceremony.

The Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry asserted that the agreement is in line with His Royal Highness Prime minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa’s directives to develop and consolidate sustainable urban environment in the kingdom.

The ministry also indicated that the UN-Habitat’s regional office was opened in light of the growing impacts of urbanization and climate change requiring local and regional sides to work together in order to put forward the necessary plans, adding that the office will provide specialised urbanization and sustainable development programmes and invite high-level experts to give an update on the latest innovations in the urban field, future challenges and reasons for climate change.

It also affirmed that the office will provide highly important services for the Kingdom by addressing the growing urban problems and consolidate sustainable cities in the region, which will enable it to preserve its cultural and spiritual heritage and ensure a better future for the next generations.

The Ministry also affirmed that although the kingdom has made remarkable achievements regarding the Millennium Development Goals, especially regarding mainly combating poverty, health, education and women’s rights, it is still doing its utmost to achieve the remaining MDGs, namely the 7th, on Ensuring Sustainable Environment, and the 8th related to Global Partnership for Development.

It also indicated that the Kingdom is the home of five UN organisations, including UNDP, UNEP-ROWA, UNIC, UNIDO and WMO.
Dr. Al Ka’abi in a statement conveyed greetings and best wishes of success from His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, His Royal Highness Prime minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander, to the participants at the 6th World Urban Forum.

He also asserted that HRH Premier’s winning of the Scroll of Honour Award in Urban Development and the launch of an award bearing his name for the best practices aiming to achieve MDGs have crowned the kingdom’s constant efforts and interest in local, regional and global development issues.

Dr. Al Ka’abi also said that HRH Premier’s message to the 6th World Urban Forum is yet another proof of the kingdom’s strides in the fields of sustainable urban development, which, he asserted, is reflected in the work plan of the government whose efforts have been focused mainly on upgrading the citizens’ standards of living.

He also pointed out the Bahrain has exerted tremendous efforts and achieved many MDGs ahead of the 2015 deadline in line with its belief in the importance of those goals in bringing about comprehensive sustainable urban development.

Dr. Al Ka’abi also indicated that the signing of the cooperation agreement on the sidelines of eth 6th World Urban Forum testifies to the kingdom’s commitment to enhancing cooperation and coordination with UN-Habitat for the sake of achieving comprehensive sustainable urban development.

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